Earlier this week, we heard the tragic news that the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak was linked to mould in his home. So, how much of a risk is mould in the home, and what can be done to prevent it?
In the case of Awaab Ishak, the coroner ruled that his death was due to a respiratory condition linked to mould in his home. It’s a heart-breaking case, and one that has caused everybody to question what risk is posed from mould in the home.
Related BBC news article: Awaab Ishak: Mould in Rochdale flat caused boy's death, coroner rules
Most of the time, a small amount of mould in the home won’t cause any health issues. Sadly, in Awaab Ishak’s home the mould was extensive. Whilst mould rarely directly causes infections (although it can do in people with weak immune systems), mould in homes and other buildings can be linked with poor respiratory health.
Related BBC news article: Mould at home: How dangerous is it and what can be done?
Mould is a type of microorganism that thrives in damp and poorly ventilated indoor spaces. Mould is all around us, and is a vital component of our ecosystem, so it’s not as if mould can be completely removed from any space (indoor or outdoor). But simple steps can help to reduce the chances of mould developing in the home.
A key part to this is making sure that indoor spaces are not damp. This can usually be achieved through a combination of adequate heating and ventilation. However, sometimes if there is an ongoing source of damp, even adequate heating and ventilation won’t keep the mould at bay. If this is the case, the source of the damp needs to be identified and dealt with. Another mould prevention measure is keeping indoor spaces clean and free from perishing items, such as food waste.
Related article: Why taking care of the air makes our offices safer
"The tragic case of Awaab Ishak should serve as a wake-up call to us all to make sure relevant bodies are doing all they can to reduce the chances of mould growing in homes to the point where it begins to damage our health."
Related article: Why ventilation is important & the role of air filtration units.
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